Nordic Storage is one of the largest independent storage companies for petroleum products in Europe, controlling around 1.6 million cubic metres of liquid bulk storage capacity.
This is spread across some 15 different terminals in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the UK. The geographic spread of this portfolio coupled with the terminals individual capabilities means Nordic Storage is able to handle large volumes of oil products, build bulk for further transhipment to markets such as the US and Asia, mix oil, provide strategic storage close to major markets, and serve the local downstream markets of Sweden with storage for many of the main products.
This has seen the business gain clients in the form of international oil companies and traders, Scandinavian oil companies, energy producers, manufacturers of chemicals, and producers of biofuels. “Since the company began in 2000 Nordic Storage has always had its strongest market in the Scandinavian region,” notes Örjan Hedlund, company president. “Presently we see no reason to change this fact, partly due to the general market being slower, and partly due to present competition making it hard to move into new markets. We put a lot of energy into taking care of and giving good service to our existing clients, which allows us to maintain our successful storage business.
“Since mid-2011 Nordic Storage has not expanded into terminals located outside our normal business areas. The potential is certainly there, especially because as a result of the weak trading business more storage terminals seem to be offered to the market presently. We evaluate the offers on a case-by-case basis and when the right asset in the right location at the right price appears we are ready to expand the company,” he adds.
That’s not to say that Nordic Storage has not been working to secure the future growth of its business. The company has been focusing on finding and developing new sites for the construction of bulk storage terminals. “We are presently working to be able to offer 120,000 cubic metres of gas oil and bio-oil storage as part of the total capacity of the Aalborg terminal. We currently have 240,000 cubic metres of fuel oil capacity at this site. This development is currently in its early stages of permit issue following the normal procedure with the authorities. Later on during implementation there will also be some investments made at the site,” explains Örjan.
He continues: “Investments in terms of money and effort are continuously made in the personnel as Nordic Storage considers them to be the main asset of the company, besides the storage capacity. By keeping our employees motivated and well educated we lay the base for the successful operations which our customers expect of us.”
With the European tank storage market having experienced significant growth in recent years, it was expected that this level activity would not be sustainable in the long-term. With this in mind, Örjan outlines the current outlook of this market for Nordic Storage: “The trading companies have definitely had a ‘softening’ of their business during the last 18 months. Most of our trading customers are still with us, but we see fewer ships at the terminals and less oil being stored by these companies. However, the trading business is just one part of the Nordic Storage activity and our industrial customers do not see the same decline as their business is less affected by the downturn of the general economy.
“As a natural consequence of the decline in oil trading customers’ activities the company is investigating the possibility of finding new customers and markets. This can be achieved to a certain degree by expanding the industrial side of the business. The general worldwide ambition to reduce the fossil parts of fuel means that storage is continuously required for different products and ratios which it is necessary for storage companies to adapt to,” he continues.
Whilst the immediate future looks fairly stable for Nordic Storage, developments taking place in the background of the industry mean that the company can not remain static in its offering. “In the next five years we see Nordic Storage will still be the preferred partner to many of the products owners around when it comes to storing and handling their products. We will still serve trading companies as well as industrial client within various fields of business around the terminals we own and market. We think that in five years time Europe will have taken some steps towards ‘fossil independence’, which will mean more blending of different fuels, and therefore this handling will be a larger part of the Nordic Storage business,” concludes Örjan.
Nordic Storage AB
Services: Storage terminal operator